2S9 Nona Story

The 2S9 "Nona" ("Latest Ordnance Ground Artillery") was introduced into the Armed Forces of the Soviet Army in 1981 as a self-propelled light armored artillery-mortar tracked vehicle. Design work began in the mid-to-late 1970s, leading to the required testing phase and subsequent mass production from 1979 to 1989.

The vehicle remains active in the modern Russian military and has found a home in the inventory of several global armies around the world. Production has reached at least 1,000 units.

The heart of the 2S9 is the heavy 120mm 2A60 field mortar mounted on a powered movable turret on the BTR-D hull. The BTR-D was introduced in 1974 as a light multipurpose airborne tracked platform. With its compact size and light weight, the vehicle proved to be an air-transportable system, often in service with light armed forces behind enemy lines. The 2S9 is a 9.6-ton vehicle powered by a 240 hp 5D20 series water-cooled V8 diesel engine at the rear.

Road speeds reach 37 mph and range is up to 310 miles. A torsion bar suspension system aids on-land driving. Armour protection for the four crew members is a maximum of 15 mm.

Approximately 40 to 60 rounds of 120mm mortar rounds were carried as primary armament, while local defense was provided by 7.62mm coaxial machine guns. Six smoke grenade launchers enable self-surveillance operations.

Like other Soviet-era vehicles in this class, the hull is fully amphibious and powered through the use of two water jets located aft and under the hull. This continued the unrestricted attack theory of armored warfare long accepted by the Soviet Union.

Amphibious qualities are not always part of the composition of Western armored vehicles.

As a mortar-carrying weapon, the 2S9 is able to fire indirectly at target areas by dropping its explosive shells at enemy defenses. The turret has its own height range, allowing for different firing angles - albeit a little cramped - when the crew is operating in a protected environment. The dimensions of the vehicle include a barrel length of 6 meters, a width of 2.6 meters, and a height of 2.3 meters. Its low profile, combined with its inherently compact size, makes it more difficult to attack effectively on the horizon.

Various mortar shell types also extend the vehicle's operational tactical range beyond the standard HE (High Explosive) type - smoke and flares are mentioned.

The operator of the 2S9 surpassed the old Soviet Guard. These include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. Russia has about 275 vehicles, including the "Nona-SVK" based on the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier (APC).

The rifled version of the 120mm gun system was called "Nona-K".

2S9 Nona Specification

Basic

Year:
1981
Staff:
4
Manufacturing:
State Factory - USSR
Production:
1,050 units

Roles

- fire support/attack/damage

Dimensions

Length:

6.02m

Width:

8.63 feet (2.63 m)

Height:

7.55 ft (2.3 m)

Weight:

16 tons (14,500 kg; 31,967 lbs)

Performance

1 x 5D20 V8 water-cooled diesel engine, 240 hp.

Performance

Maximum Speed:

80 km/h

Maximum range:

373 miles (600 km)

Armor

1 x 120mm 2A60 mortar

1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun

6 x Smoke Grenade Launchers

Ammo:

40 to 60 x 120mm mortar shells

500 x 7.62mm ammo

6 x Smoke Grenade

Changes

2S9 "Nona" - base series name

"Nona-S" - alternative name

2S9 Nona-SVK - Mortar carrier Nona system on BTR-80 APC fuselage.

2S9 Nona-K - towed artillery variant

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